|Born||October 23, 1961|
|Origin||Schenectady, New York
|Occupations||Pianist, composer, vocalist, activist|
|Labels||ACM Records, Stella Records Inc.|
Rick DellaRatta (born October 23, 1961) is an Americanjazzpianist, composer, and vocalist. He is perhaps best known as the founder of the nonprofit organization and jazz performance group Jazz for Peace, which he has directed since 2001.
Rick DellaRatta studied at the New England Conservatory, earning a Bachelors in Piano Performance, and a Masters in Jazz Composition. He studied jazz piano with Jackie Byard, Kenny Werner, Charlie Banacos, and Richie Bierach and classical piano with Thomas Stumpf and Stanley Hummell. He studied composition with William Thomas McKinnley. He has studied voice with John Mase, Carlton Doctor and Ilene Bush.
Through his life long endeavor to help advance people to their highest potential through the understanding of Jazz as well as spreading peace worldwide through his "Jazz for Peace World Tour," Rick DellaRatta is considered to be an innovator and a visionary. His unique and original piano playing and composing has been compared in print to Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson and Thelonious Monk while his signature vocal sound and style has been likened to Chet Baker, Billy Holiday, Joao Gilberto, Ivan Lins, Michael Franks and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Rick DellaRatta has performed as a leader in legendary jazz clubs such as Sweet Basil, Ronnie Scotts, The Blue Note, Birdland and The Five Spot. Rick is currently sharing his musical message worldwide through his "Jazz for Peace World Tour which began on October 7, 2001 with Eddie Gomez, Lenny White and Paquito D'Rivera has continued on with a special concert at the United Nations featuring Rick's International Jazz Band. The tour included The United States, The Middle East, The United Kingdom, Asia, Europe and South Africa. The "Jazz for Peace" tour will be Rick's first ever "World Tour" however recent performances by Rick outside the U.S. have included Japan, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Recent Festival appearances as a leader include headlining at The Savannah Jazz Festival, The Kansas City Jazz and Blues Festival, Ottawa International Jazz Festival, The Empire State Jazz Festival, Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival, The Lake George Jazz Festival, The Sofia Jazz Festival in Bulgaria and The Taketa Jazz Festival in Japan. Other festival appearances include The Loft Jazz Festival in New York's world famous Blue Note for the Panasonic Jazz Festival, DuMarier Jazz Festival in Toronto and Summer Fest in Milwaukee.
Rick DellaRatta performed as a leader with Jazz greats such as Eddie Gomez, Lenny White, Dave Leibman, Paquito D'Rivera, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, Bobby Watson, Nick Brignola, Sonny Fortune, Elliot Zigmund, Idris Muhhamad, Will Lee, Chris Parker, Ray Mantilla, Al Foster and Victor Lewis.
The award winning Singer/Instrumentalist has also agreed to an exclusive endorsement deal with Earthworks Microphones. After receiving a Masters in music at the New England Conservatory, Rick toured with Herb Reed and The Platters throughout the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico and Jamaica. He also toured as pianist with the Artie Shaw Orchestra throughout the U.S. and Canada, and as opening act and MC for jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie. A native of upstate New York, Rick now resides in New York City
Jazz for Peace
The 9/11 terrorist attacks had a strong impact on DellaRatta, who lived in lower Manhattan at the time. As an emotional outlet following the attacks, he wrote a poem called "Jazz for Peace". Soon after, DellaRatta founded a musical group under the same name. The motto of the group is to "Unite People Through the Artform of Jazz". In explaining his reasoning for forming the group, DellaRatta stated, “When we fill our souls up with creativity, artistry, and intelligence, we have a better chance at avoiding the behavior that leads to destruction”. Since October 2001, Jazz for Peace has performed benefit concerts and music education series within and outside of the United States.
- Take it or Leave it (1995)
- Thought Provoking (1997, Stella Records Inc.)
- Live in Brazil and The Blue Note (1998, Stella Records Inc.)
- Alone Together (2000)
- Jazz at Christmas Time (2001)
- Via Brasil - All Stars (2003)
- Jazz for Peace (2004)
- "Improvisation" (2009)